Sunlight, water, and ice: Extreme Arctic sea ice melt during the summer of 2007
Article first published online: 3 JUN 2008
Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 35, Issue 11, June 2008
How to Cite
2008), Sunlight, water, and ice: Extreme Arctic sea ice melt during the summer of 2007, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L11501, doi:10.1029/2008GL034007., , , and (
- Issue published online: 3 JUN 2008
- Article first published online: 3 JUN 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 2 MAY 2008
- Manuscript Revised: 23 APR 2008
- Manuscript Received: 15 MAR 2008
- sea ice;
- ice albedo feedback
 The summer extent of the Arctic sea ice cover, widely recognized as an indicator of climate change, has been declining for the past few decades reaching a record minimum in September 2007. The causes of the dramatic loss have implications for the future trajectory of the Arctic sea ice cover. Ice mass balance observations demonstrate that there was an extraordinarily large amount of melting on the bottom of the ice in the Beaufort Sea in the summer of 2007. Calculations indicate that solar heating of the upper ocean was the primary source of heat for this observed enhanced Beaufort Sea bottom melting. An increase in the open water fraction resulted in a 500% positive anomaly in solar heat input to the upper ocean, triggering an ice–albedo feedback and contributing to the accelerating ice retreat.